Feb 19, 2012

Anomaly Warzone Earth HD

Tower Defense games have been a genre to define mobile, touch screen gaming. With such a successful game style it was only a matter of time before someone would reverse the roles and put the player in charge of the attackers. At the same time, I have to wonder just how successful this can be. The attackers in a tower defense game follow a typically linear movement pattern and act in a brain dead manner that relies on an overrun through sheer numbers. Let's take a look...

The first thing I noticed in Anomaly Warzone Earth HD (abbreviated as just Anomaly from here on out) was the lengthy and polished intro with full video that really gets one ready for war. The startup tells you that this is going to be a first rate experience. Once you're at the main menu the game provides a solid tutorial to get you going. You are given a military objective and have to plot your path through the city. Furthermore, you are given some healing abilities. From there your units march and exchange fire with enemy units and as your units are weakened you basically drop healing 'zones' on the map and while your units are encompassed in these circular zones they will regenerate. You will also pick up more power-ups as you grind your way through the map and destroy enemy units. Ultimately there really wasn't much to it and I was left feeling disappointed. There has to be more, I thought...

As the game progresses you'll earn money and, as with the traditional tower defense model, there will be different types of defenses to push past. The game does stay loyal to the theme by making it so you don't have to wipe out every unit along the way and instead one just has to achieve an objective which may consist of simply reaching a destination point, knocking out a few specific units, or ... etc. With the money you earn the game does, in later stages, let you build your own army of units although it's not for awhile that you really gain any real control of that (i.e. if I have $350 and there are two units to choose from... one costs $100 and another $125 then I'm probably going to take 2 $125s thinking they must be a bit better and a $100... not too much choice). The game also adds, and this is probably the biggest thing, abilities to your arsenal as you play such as smoke screens which is the first extra ability you'll receive. I won't give away more than that as picking up new abilities is a good chunk of the adventure in playing this game. Finally, I should mention, that you can alter your path through the city at any time during the game play should you need to make an additional adjustment after your units are initially dropped onto the map.

On audio/visual alone this game is great. Units are nice and detailed. The map provides a beautiful 3D overview that you can scroll around on. The game also features different skill levels. I've focused on the easiest mode which is called Casual simply to make maximum progress in the game before penning a review.

qrcodeIn conclusion, Anomaly is a good game, but not a great game. I recall the feeling that the good tower defense games created and that was the immediate desire to play again and to beat previous efforts. I recall some of the issues... one being where I might play for half an hour, eventually lose, but have to do the half hour again to get to the 'challenge'. Anomaly certainly doesn't suffer from that with its bite size missions that might take 5 minutes to complete (making it an excellent mobile game). However, Anomaly doesn't have the extra oomph that really draws me in. I've been playing it for the past few days and it's been enjoyable and is an excellent job at reverse tower defense... I'm just not convinced tower defense should be reversed. 4/5 stars for good, but not great. At $4 it's among the more expensive Android Market games. It's ashame there's not some sort of demo to give people a better taste of this game before they must buy it as I'm sure there are many that will really enjoy this one, but it's not going to be for everybody.

No comments:

Post a Comment